I’m pretty well caught up on writing about all my ancestors in the past four generations, with a few exception on my maternal line. So I’m planning my next few posts on those ancestors.
Ora Alvin Loveland is my second great-grandfather. I didn’t know much about him until this afternoon when I spent a little time researching through Ancestry.com and other Internet resources.
It turns out I was missing quite a few details about his life, and the number of children he fathered, what he did for a living, and when he married. It all came together with a few keystrokes.
Ora Alvin Loveland was born in February of either 1876 or 1878. Census records conflict. But he listed his birth date at Feb. 1, 1876, on his World War I draft registration, and since he was 42 at the time and not really trying to get drafted or enlist, it makes me think that’s a more accurate fact than the census records, which estimate ages.
He was the son of Sidney Christopher and Matilda Melvina Harvill Loveland. He had nine siblings.
According to his World War I draft registration, Ora was a slender man with blue eyes and black hair. He worked in mining at the Lee Mining Co., near Oldfield, Mo., in 1918.
He and Rachel Jeneta Mathews were married Dec. 23, 1902, in Christian County, Mo.
They might have had as many as 13 children. I’m a bit confused because all my earlier notes and records listed Ora’s wife as Nettie, but that could be a nickname for Jeneta, if she didn’t go by her given first name of Rachel.
Apparently, Ora and Rachel (Nettie) were living in Bruner in Christian County, Mo., at the time he registered for the draft. Today, the area is still an unincorporated part of the county, east of Sparta, Mo., on Route 14.
I don’t think that he knew how to read or write because his mark is listed on the draft record and it’s all written in the same hand, likely that of the record taker. I’ll have to do some more digging in U.S. Census records to see if I can find anything else about literacy. Given that he came from a family of farmers living in southwest Missouri and parts of the Arkansas Delta, I seriously doubt he had much education or exposure to reading and writing.
For most of his life, Ora lived in Christian County, Mo., where he was born. The family moved to Lawrence County, Arkansas, by the time of the 1920 census. It’s about a 190 mile difference by car, according to today’s maps. I’m not sure what prompted the family to move, unless it was related to farming or mining work.
By the 1940 census, he’s listed as a widowed head of household, living in Campbell, Lawrence County, Ark., with five of his children: Johnnie, Jewel, Jessie, Samuel and Wilma. He rents a farm and completed elementary school up to the second grade (which corresponds with my assumption that he couldn’t write to sign his draft card).
Ora died on Feb. 24, 1941, in Lawrence County, Arkansas, at age 65.